It's National Knife Day...I know...National Knife Day!?!? And it's the end of August, which means the next four months are filled with Great Food, Great Friends and Great Fun!
Soooooo, in preparation for the upcoming holidays, and to honor the day, let's sharpen our knives! There are several ways to do this. Many stores will have certain days or weeks when you can drop off your knives and get them back sharpened. But the best way to maintain a good edge on your good knives is to get a home sharpener and hone your knives every couple weeks, depending on how often you use them.
A sharp knife is actually a safe knife. Using a dull blade can result in accidents because when the knife doesn't slice through the food, it can slip off the item and end up where you don't want it, like through your finger!
My dad always kept our knives sharpened at home with a sharpening steel.Personally, I don't like to use the steel, for a couple of reasons: I'm never positive that I've got the correct angle for sharpening the knife and it takes a lot of elbow grease and time! (Remember, I am the lazy cook.)
The other two options are an electric knife sharpener and a manual, hand-held sharpener.Several years ago my Christmas list included an electric knife sharpener. And Santa was good to me! The electric sharpeners of today are much improved from years past. You will get an accurate angle because the knife slips into a guide and the directions are specific about how slowly to pull the knife through and the number of times to use each slot. Following the directions should result in perfectly ground edges. I also have a small, manual knife sharpener that works for those times when I just need to quickly hone the edge.Knife sharpeners come in all sizes and price points. But please do yourself a favor and buy a good name brand, it also helps to read the reviews online.
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The manual knife sharpeners are very affordable, from $5 to over $50. Check out the reviews and choose the one that fits your hand and budget best. Amazon has a great selection with reviews included.
Sharpening steels are also available at many price points, but you will get what you pay for. I may be averse to using the steel because the first one I owned was inexpensive and was a lot of work with little reward. My knives were never sharp enough. Choose a brand known for knife making, such as Wusthof or Henckels, and you should be okay.
Whichever tool you choose for keeping your blades sharp, use it regularly and enjoy faster prep time due to ease of slicing and dicing.
Happy Knife Sharpening!